Nov 22, 2017

Different Christmas Decorating Ideas Using Poinsettias


Christmas is around the corner, there’s nothing wrong to be prepared, right? As you may already know that poinsettia is one of the most versatile plants or flowers of Christmas but with its luxuriously red and green leaves, it captures the festive colors of the holiday season. Available also in different colors and in all sorts of sizes, the poinsettias make the flower a staple Christmas decorating piece.

The flower delivery of Poinsettias provides different Christmas decorating ideas. With the help of the florist, you can give your home décor that instant glamor and festive holiday spirit using the flower of Poinsettias.

Holiday Welcome sign

Give your guests a glimpse of what kind of home festivity you have inside by posting a holiday welcome sign embellished with poinsettias. The flower shop like Little Flower Hut usually has this kind of design ready-made and available for the holiday decorations. You may also reuse the Poinsettias for this purpose from the hand bouquet you received.

Wreaths

Spice up your Christmas wreaths with Poinsettias and hang them on your front doors or just above the fireplace. With red poinsettias on the wreaths, you are giving your home that festive appearance for the holidays. Fresh poinsettias on wreaths may last and thrive through the holidays. Ask the florist in Singapore for some tips on how you can make the flowers last longer.

Toy Train Accessories

Turn the Christmas trains under the Christmas tree into a pretty bloom train by adding poinsettias on them. The kids and your guests will definitely love watching the trains go around the tree in their poinsettias accessories. Look for other ideas or ask the florist online for creative train decorating ideas for the holiday theme.

Christmas Trees

Fresh poinsettias are just perfect for any Christmas Trees decorations. You can place the stems on a floral vial filled with clean water to keep them fresh. You may also want to add artificial flowers to fill up the gaps on your tree. Check the shop or talk to the online florist for other available colors for the Poinsettia flowers if you are thinking of other motif this Christmas.

Poinsettias can be used in a wide variety of designs and decorations. When you send the flower delivery of Christmas flower decorations, you may want to consider the versatility of Poinsettias. These flowers will make your home decorations more elegant and joyous. With just some simple creativity, home decoration is easy and free with the versatile flowers of Christmas, the Poinsettias.

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Jul 15, 2017

A Better Florist - Best Florist for Any Occasion


When you want to make someone’s day brighter, a bouquet of fresh blooms is definitely a great choice, and one of the common ones no matter where you live. But shopping for the prettiest petals has been revolutionized by A Better Florist, and the days of having to run all over town to find the ideal bouquet for your loved ones are long gone. Although there are flowers in Singapore at almost every corner, A Better Florist wants you to forget about your old and stressful ways of purchasing flowers for the special people in your life. They want to you to be able to order the best blooms easily, no matter where you are, hence their user-friendly website.

Ordering flowers online is a convenient and easy way to have fresh and beautiful flower bouquets delivered to your desired destination. A Better Florist literally enables you to stay in the comfort of your office or home, and move only when you have to click on the purchase button. This pampering convenience is topped off with a fast delivery. They deliver flowers every day, and that includes some of the biggest holidays when flowers are most in demand. One of the greatest perks is being able to order flowers and have them delivered the same day, within only 90 minutes, to any part of Singapore necessary. And to put it all a bit into perspective, in a wild and super-fast concrete jungle like Singapore is, it’s hard to imagine a business being able to cater to everyone at such great speed and still deliver quality at the same time.


A Better Florist is undoubtedly the best florist in Singapore and wider. They are considered to be the best florist in Hong Kong as well.

After additional research, because everyone should be an informed shopper, I discovered that A Better Florist has a Hong Kong flowers shop and a Dubai Florist as well, meaning their gorgeous flower creations are known far beyond Singapore.


Another convenience is that you can find everything you need, and that’s flower-related, all in one place. If you’re looking for funeral wreaths in Singapore, or birthday flowers, or fruit hampers, get well soon bundles, or any kind of flower masterpiece, A Better Florist is the destination to go to. Their expert team has been crafting the most beautiful blooms for quite some time now, and it’s exactly this kind of passion and experience that has established them as one of the best.

I truly enjoy glancing at their collections that are on the website, because they are mesmerizingly beautiful and fresh, and every bouquet or arrangement is put-together carefully and not just throw together for the purpose of selling. You can actually tell they put a lot of thought and creativity into crafting the blooms that their clients are going to love.

Knowing that there’s a florist that crafts with ‘you’ in mind, it’s hard to say no to A Better Florist. I definitely recommend at least taking a glance at their socials, because their creations speak far better for them, then I ever could.

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Jun 2, 2017

Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA)


After completing my Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) in January 2017, I wanted to take some more lifetime certifications from ASQ which have no recertification requirements, as each active ASQ certification gives 2 recertification units (RUs) up to 6 RUs that can be counted towards the total 18 RUs required for each recertification cycle for my CSSBB.

Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA) is one of the aforementioned certifications, and so Kenneth and I scheduled it together to sit for this computer-based exam in June 2017, given that we'll be spending our time attending lectures and studying during our semester in NUS from January to May. We also reckoned that CQIA will be much easier considering that we've gone through CSSBB.

How did I prepare for CQIA?

We purchased the eBook of The Certified Quality Improvement Associate Handbook, Third Edition by Russell T. Westcott and Grace L. Duffy, which is a pretty concise. I printed it out to be brought into the exam room since it's open book, but I studied completedly through my computer.

We didn't really try out any question bank at all, the only sets of questions we went thru were the CQIA Sample Exam from ASQ and the sample solutions text from Quality Council of Indiana, which published the primers for most ASQ certifications

What kind of exam questions to be expected?

There are 110 questions in the CQIA exam, which I will share a little bit about the actual exam questions I've encountered. Surprisingly, quite a substantial amount of questions are asking about the quality guru's philosophy.

The CQIA Handbook would prepare you well but there were a handful of questions asking about the Juran Trilogy appear in the exam and I don't think the handbook outlines sufficient details about this and so one would probably need more reference material for whichever related to Juran. Questions about Deming were simpler, as long as the exam candidates are familiar with PDCA. The rest of the questions should be pretty doable, with a certain level of ambiguity.

I spent approximately two hours for the exam, and I didn't really want to go through those questions which I marked for review, as I thought as long as I don't have a lot of those marked, I should still be able to pass.

CQIA is a rather uncommon certification in the quality related field, but good luck to whoever taking it.

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Feb 22, 2017

Inuyama, Japan



Urakuen Garden 有楽苑
Inuyama 犬山 literally means dog mountain, is located approximately 25 km northwards from Nagoya. I actually planned a day trip to this place as I wouldn't want to spend too much time in Nagoya, and relatively this touristy little town is not very far away from Nagoya. We took a train in the morning from Fushimi Station (Nagoya) to Inuyama-Yūen Station.

Our first stop was Urakuen Garden (有楽苑) which houses one of the Japan National Treasures, Jo-an, one of the 3 finest teahouses in Japan. Well there was suppose to be entrance fee, not knowing that, we somehow went in by the side gate, thinking that's the entrance to it, until we're about to leave and saw the main entrance. A little guilted, but we're glad that we saved some money from that. LOL~






Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Feb 21, 2017

Takayama, Japan



飛騨特産品の店さくら井や @ Hanasatomachi 花里町
Departed from Shirakawa-go, we arrived safely at Takayama Nohi Bus Center at 4:15pm - we didn't have much time left so we had to kind of spend our time here wisely.

Similarly, the temperature here was as insane as Shirakawa-go. We waited no further and marched towards the old town district, Kamisannomachi 上三之町. The old town district is due east from the bus terminal, after crossing the Miyagawa River 宮川.

Takayama is known for its preservation of buildings dating from the Edo period two-three hundred years ago along the streets of its old town district. Apart from immersing oneself in the cultural richness at the old town, there are plenty of attractions to visit along the streets such as sake brewery, art galleries, museums and coffee houses.




Miyagawa River 宮川


Nakabashi Bridge 中橋



Kamisannomachi 上三之町
三川屋本店
For a while it snowed quite heavily, as you can see in the photo.


Gohei Mochi 五平餅 @ ¥400


Harada Sake Brewery 原田酒造場

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Shirakawa-go, Japan


We boarded the bus (Gifu Bus) at Meitetsu Bus Center at 9:00am and was expected to reach Shirakawa-go at 11:53am, it took a little longer and we reached Shirakawa-go Bus Terminal 白川郷バスターミナル at around 12:30pm.




Image courtesy of Meitetsu

Located in the Gifu Prefecture, Shirakawa-go is the first place I parked in our Nagoya trip itinerary as it has become an increasingly popular travel destination - I've seen friends posting photos of their trip to Shirakawa-go on Facebook and Instagram back in 2016. It thus became the highlight of our trip this time round and I certainly prayed for a smooth journey there.

Looking out of the bus window on our way up the Gifu mountains and the amount of snow was surely something that reminisce my student exchange experience in Sweden. I was surprised at Kenneth's calmness when he told me that that's his first time seeing snow (well, I would have been overly excited like a little kid if I were him).

The moment I alighted, I regretted that I was pretty underdressed for this harsh weather - merely a long sleeve T-shirt underneath my winter jacket, a pair of gloves, a pair of jeans and a single pair of socks underneath my usual pair of shoes, and it's −2°C.


Pickup point for Tenshukaku Observatory

We started walking southwards and realized there's this spot that people are queuing, and of course, it's the pickup point for the observatory. We boarded and paid ¥200 fare when we alighted at the Tenshukaku Observatory 天守閣展望台.



The view of the village from the observatory was simply mesmerizing.





There's a professional photographer there who helps to take photos of you with her DSLR and your camera(s) as well. The photos are immediately printed at the back and you can buy them if you wish to.

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Jan 18, 2017

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)


I started taking the ASQ Six Sigma certifications in March 2016, to be specific, I took Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt (CSSYB) in March 2016 and Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB) in June 2016.

Unlike Yellow Black and Green Belt, a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt candidate is required to have two completed projects with signed affidavits or one completed project with signed affidavit and 3 years of work experience in one or more areas of the Six Sigma Body of Knowledge.

I already have more than 3 years of work experience in Cameron and so I used one of my Six Sigma Green Belt projects (Warehouse Picking Cycle Time Reduction) in Cameron as my affidavit, signed by the Operations Manager, who was my project champion.

I was still a member of ASQ, so I enjoyed the discounted exam fee at US$388 (S$570).
My last day in Cameron was 6 Jan 2017 and I'm joining Seagate as a Lean Engineer, and so I requested to join Seagate on 19 Jan 2017, which is a day after my CSSBB exam, so strategically I have time to study at ease during the period I was jobless.

ASQ has recently phased in computer-based testing, so similar to PMP and PMI-ACP, the CSSBB exam is delivered by Prometric testing centers, and again, Kenneth and I booked our slots at the King's Arcade branch.

Good things about computer-based testing:
  • You'll know your results immediately after submitting the answers.
  • No more pencil marking and erasing.
And also a few bad things about computer-based testing::
  • Unlike pencil-based testing, all materials accompanied (it's open-book exam for CSSBB) into the examination room are strictly inspected by the proctor. To sum it up, make sure your materials are binded, not stapled; and no sample Q&A portion can be taken in - they flip through almost every page to check on that.
  • When it comes to reviewing each question, you have to click one by one as one question is displayed in one screen, so you can't take an quick overview of a section.

Why Six Sigma certifications?

I had my first job landed in Cameron as a Global Rotational Development Program trainee, ever since then, I was exposed to the Six Sigma methodology because Cameron was a Lean Six Sigma enterprise.

I'm thankful that I was given the opportunity to lead the warehouse project which also served as my very first Lean Six Sigma Green Belt project. This first step was important in keeping me motivated further to subsequent Green Belt projects, which in time I closed a total of 3 Green Belt projects, entitling me to be certified as a Cameron certified Six Sigma Green Belt.

I believe it's the success and job satisfaction derived from project results and deliverables that made me persevere in the Lean Six Sigma discipline, to the point that I wanted to take ASQ Six Sigma certifications and considered this field for my future career.

How did I prepare for CSSBB?

You probably don't want to follow my footstep for this, because I only seriously started to study 2-3 weeks before the exam. Do a search online for tips, they'll tell you to start preparing at least a few months before hand.

The reason why I did last minute preparation is because I was busy (actually, lazy... XD). Also, I have read one of the modules in my Master of Science program in NUS last year, titled Applied Engineering Statistics, which comprises of the essential topics in inferential statistics. This saved me a lot of time going through topics in hypothesis testing, ANOVA, regression, DOE etc.

The two most common preparation materials available are:

I used the CSSBB Primer (2014 Edition) I already had there available from someone else. I personally have not gone through the handbook so I can't judge which book prepares the candidate better. But what I can say is, the real exam questions are pretty similar to the CSSBB Primer Solutions Text.

It's a 165-question, 4.5-hour-long exam, where 15 of them are unscored. I finished and submitted my answer in 3 hours because I just don't feel like wait any longer. It's pretty draining as well for 165 questions, but I told myself that I had worse from PMP, which was 200-question.

As mentioned, the results will show on the screen after the answers are submitted, and thank God, I passed.


I do feel contented with the certifications I've achieved so far, CSSYB, CSSGB, CSSBB, PMP and PMI-ACP, all done within 10 months on first try, while I was still studying for my master's degree. Grateful.

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist